Jefferson holds off Bearcats, 28-14
Saturday, October 31, 2009 12:00 AM
BY DREW BITTNER
Drew Bittner/Times Bulletin
The Jefferson offense lines up to run a play while the Spencerville defense prepares for the snap during a game on Friday, October 30, in Spencerville. Jefferson won the game 28-14.
Times Bulletin Sports Editor
SPENCERVILLE - For one half, records meant nothing.
The winless Spencerville squad played the visiting Jefferson Wildcats even after two quarters of play and a buzz quickly spread over the hometown faithful with a win in their sights.
Mitchell Antalis quickly changed that.
After Antalis put the Bearcats into position to take the lead with a near-costly third quarter fumble, the Jefferson junior redeemed himself with a interception of Spencerville quarterback Tyler Deitering - a pick he took to the house to give the Wildcats the go-ahead score on their way to a 28-14 victory on Friday night.
It was that type of a football game throughout - a game of momentum swings and scoring runs - and a contest that early on looked like an easy Jefferson victory.
Despite being repelled by the Bearcats on four straight goal-and-one plays on their first possession of the game, the Wildcats defense suffocated Spencerville throughout the entire first quarter, and the offense moved the ball effectively - scoring on their second possession on a 15-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jordan Jettinghoff to receiver Andrew Wiltsie. Jettinghoff nailed the extra point and Jefferson led 7-0 after the opening stanza.
The Wildcats, after the Bearcats' third straight punt to open the game, quickly added another touchdown only ten seconds into the second quarter, as Jettinghoff found receiver Craig Carder in the endzone from eight yards out to put the Wildcats up 14-0 (Jettinghoff PAT good).
The Bearcats, however, refused to give up. After a solid kick return that put started the drive at their own 42, Spencerville found openings in the Jefferson defense. After picking up a couple first downs, the Wildcats helped Spencerville's cause with a late hit penalty that set up the home team at the Jefferson 18-yard line.
That was the opening Deitering and company needed, as on the very next play, the senior quarterback hit sophomore Daniel Binkley on a pass over the middle of the field and Binkley found the endzone to put the Bearcats on the board and the extra point cut the lead to 14-7.
After forcing a Jefferson punt, the Bearcats again went to work. Putting together an 11-play, 67 yard drive, which was kept alive by a costly Jefferson penalty once again and also two key third-conversions, the Bearcats found paydirt once again in the quarter, this time as Deitering scored on a two-yard run with only ten seconds left in the half.
The second half opened up much like the first, with both teams trading punts and the Bearcats adding a turnover on downs before the Wildcats gained back possession once more.
After a seven-yard gain by Curtis Miller, Antalis took the handoff on second-down, and dived up the middle, only to loss control of the football and Spencerville's Niko Molina pounced on it to give the Bearcats possession and give the fans on the Spencerville side reason to erupt.
But Antalis had his redemption moment on 19 seconds later, as he picked off the pass from Deitering and took it nearly 50 yards for the touchdown.
The interception clearly deflated the Bearcats, and the home team never threatened again in the ball game.
Jefferson did add one more score - a one play drive that was started and ended by a 32-yard touchdown scamper by Miller - and that turned out to be the final score as the Wildcats upended the Bearcats 28-14 to close out the 2009 season.
Jettinghoff ended the night 5 of 10 for 95 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also added 15 carries for 49 yards. Miller was the Wildcats' leading rusher with 11 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Deitering was 10 of 23 on the night for 127 yards. He threw a touchdown and a pick. Austin Lotz led the Bearcats in rushing as he went for 63 yards on 21 carries.
Jefferson ends the season 6-4 overall while Spencerville finishes 0-10.